Microsoft hasn’t yet been able to attract subscription music lovers away form its Spotify-alternative with the promise of better features and a lower price. For one day only though, it’ll have the opportunity to address the latter concern. Microsoft is slashing the cost of its Xbox Music subscription service to $31.41 all day long.
Microsoft announced the blockbuster deal on Xbox Music Pass subscriptions yesterday in a blog post celebrating Pi Day. Pi Day is essentially a tech and science lover’s holiday, a day every so often when the numeric date lines up with a circle’s circumference in relation to its diameter. Each year tech lovers around the world celebrate days with 3.14 in sequential order. This year is special because tomorrow’s complete date is 3.1415, an exact match for the first five digits of Pi. The discount is available to anyone and everyone from the Microsoft Store website.
For one day only, Microsoft will completely slash the price of an Xbox Music subscription. Normally a year of Xbox Live costs a whopping $99 on Amazon. That’s cheaper than the $120 users who pay monthly rack up in Xbox Music Pass charges in a year, but not as low as the $31.41. By comparison, Spotify, the world’s largest subscription music service, offers two listening plans. Streaming playlists complete with advertisements is free. Spotify Premium also costs $9.99. Its subscribers can play anything without ads.
Besides offering a deep discount on year-long Xbox Music subscriptions, Microsoft is also rolling out special Pi-themed digital gift cards for its gift card app on Windows Phone and slashing the price on Einstein Brain Trainer HD for Windows and Windows Phone to just $2.99.
Xbox Music launched in 2012 to act as a wholesale replacement for the Zune Music Pass and Zune Music service that Microsoft launched to counter the rise of the iPod. Unfortunately, the launch of Zune came way tool late to stop Apple’s dominance in music players. Zune was about letting users stay social, sharing music and focusing on the PC as the hub for entertainment. Xbox Music is not.
Users still pay $9.99 a month or $99 a year for music streaming, but Xbox Music treats the PC – any PC really as just another device that users like to browse and store their music on. Playlists management and creation is all done on Microsoft’s servers and then synced to different devices. The kicker is that Xbox Music is a decent Spotify for every kind of user, not just the people who use Microsoft’s devices. Like OneDrive, OneNote, Office and Xbox Smartglass, Xbox Music is available on the iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system.
This extremely good Xbox Music deal comes just after a pretty big announcement about the service. For years, Microsoft had users store their music locally or have it scanned into their cloud collection. This allowed users to maintain access to some of their favorite CDs and songs. Unfortunately, it didn’t actually store any music at all. Even if you owned the song, it wouldn’t show up in your Xbox Music Cloud Collection unless it was already available on the service.
At its Windows 10 Media Briefing Microsoft confirmed Xbox Music and OneDrive would pick up music storage integration. According to the presentation, users will be able to add their songs to a OneDrive folder and stream them to the different versions of Xbox Music. To be clear, there hasn’t been a hard launch date for that yet. At the Media briefing Microsoft simply said to expect it over the next few months.
Whether this feature will come to the rather basic Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android remains unclear.